Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oh No... Spend More Money

So... on top of the troubles with the teenager, the sickness of Songbird, and the just being of the baby, and my wife's after-school school to become someone of administration, my AC breaks... again. The AC of the house, not the car (which broke twice last summer). The same AC I thought was giving me trouble when it was cold outside (heat pump). So I enlisted the help of a friend, since he works on this sort of thing all the time. First we check the start capacitor. It is what helps high amperage things get started... almost like a battery, it holds an amount of a charge, then when the motor comes on it empties giving the motor just what it needs. it is a $3-10 part. the one on my compressor worked just fine. Dang!!!

So with that, the least expensive and easiest to fix item, was off the list. I turned on the AC at the request of my friend, and he says (and I already had a sinking suspicion) that the actual fan motor had gone... which was not the end of the world, but it was a bit more involved. Still all and all I'm only out $130 bucks $95 (I just picked up the motor), instead of who knows how much if I would have called a repairman (probably $300 minimum) and this is something I need to keep telling myself, as I have yet to complete this task.

I have the old motor removed, the new motor ready to be put in, and of course it is in the 60's, which means I won't get the "oh honey, you saved us" from the wife if it were 80+ degrees outside, but all things considered, I don't really need that anyway. Don't get me wrong, it would be nice, but not necessary.

Here we see our culprit, the outside portion of a split system heat pump. It is working now, but it wasn't before. I have enclosed photos so that maybe if you have the same problems you too can go get the parts and fix it yourself. But if you should make sure you can handle it and it would help if you had someone in the know around. I went to Fox Appliance Parts for the parts. They do not have a web presence but their number is: (912) 234-0911. ‎

This is the part that went south. How do I know this? Well, on my particular unit it was either this or the start capacitor. We checked the capacitor, which was good, barring that you may not have a capacitor checker, a voltmeter with that option, I would go ahead and buy a new motor anyway, as it cost me $95, and they threw in a start capacitor anyway (for an additional $3) Also in my instance there was a bit of slop in the old motor, you could grab the shaft and wiggle it around, with a new motor you won't be able to do that.

Here we have the new motor (with the fan blade on it... it was the same fan blade, I took this picture after the fact) See that little silver box at the bottom of the picture? That is the start capacitor... you need to make sure before you go poking and prodding that this is discharged. What does that mean? You need to short out across the leads with something metal, like a screwdriver. Otherwise, if you short out the leads with a hand or arm or anything connected to your body, you will become a fireworks show... not fun.

Ok I have it mounted back on to the grill. I should say this took the longest. Cutting the threaded screw wire down to size was a pain. During this portion I would recommend a 2nd person that knows what needs to happen, understands how it happens... or not the help of a teenager, as it was not very much help at all. My wife came to help and it all went a lot smoother from that point on

Ok this is the point where I am just about to put the fan back in. You can see the innards of the AC and the copper piping the carries freon. It is also where you need to make sure nothing is hitting or coming into contact with the fan. I had to loosen the fan and push it a tad bit back, also make sure your wiring is good, not in the way, through the right holes, etc.

From this point all that was needed was a place to mount the capacitor, we opted for a hot glue gun, and stuck it where we could fit it.All that remained is to tighten the screws and turn the system on. I have the ability to heat/cool my home again... at a much more affordable price too.

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